People walk by an electronic stock board in Tokyo. Associated Press
Robust earnings from Google-owner Alphabet and Twitter took the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes close to record levels on Friday, with data showing the domestic economy slowed lesser than expected in the second quarter providing support.
Japan’s economy contracted slightly in the first quarter as corporate and consumer spending weakened, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. Exports also deteriorated amid trade disputes and weaker global demand, hurting the trade-reliant economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have fallen 0.2% in January-March on an annualised basis,
Japan’s economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in January-March, driven by net contributions from exports and defying forecasts for a contraction in the world’s third-largest economy. However, the surprise expansion was mostly caused by imports declining faster than exports, likely reflecting weak domestic demand,
The bitter trade war between China and the United States kept Asian factory activity mostly in decline in August, business surveys showed, strengthening the case for policymakers to unleash fresh stimulus to fend off recession risks.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 1.0 per cent, in the eurozone, Frankfurt won 0.9 per cent and Paris climbed 0.8 per cent.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at $2,033.86 per ounce by 0655 GMT, after hitting a record high of $2,036.49. US gold futures rose 1.4% to $2,049.30.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.26 per cent, or 58.81 points, to end at 22,514.85, while the broader Topix index inched down 0.04 per cent, or 0.55 points, to 1,554.71.
Brent crude was up by 31 cents, or 0.7%, at $44.74 a barrel by 0713 GMT. The contract rose 0.6% on Wednesday to its highest close since March 6. West Texas Intermediate oil was up by 26 cents, or 0.6%, at $41.96 a barrel. The contract ended Tuesday trading 1.7% higher, its highest close since late July.